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Dairyland Power adding solar energy resources

Thu, Feb 13th, 2014
Posted in All Business Announcements

LA CROSSE, Wis.— Dairyland Power has signed an agreement with Minnesota-Three, LLC, to purchase the renewable energy produced by a planned large solar facility, to be located along U.S. Highway 52 north of Rochester, Minn.

The new solar installation will be 517 kilowatts (kW), and could produce enough energy to power nearly 60 homes. The facility will be located in the Oronoco Crossings business park and interconnected to People’s Energy Cooperative power delivery system. Construction of the solar facility is scheduled to begin this spring and planned to be operational by June 1, 2014.

The solar installation will be developed, owned and managed by Minnesota-Three, LLC, owned by three Dairyland member cooperatives: Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services (Albert Lea, Minn.), People’s Energy Cooperative (Oronoco, Minn.) and Tri-County Electric Cooperative (Rushford, Minn.). Dragonfly Solar of Lakeville, Minn., will be responsible for engineering, procurement and construction for the project which will utilize U.S. manufactured solar components.

“The development of this solar project complements Dairyland’s current renewable energy resources, which provide about 12 percent of our members’ energy,” said Bill Berg, President and CEO. “Expanding solar resources is consistent with Dairyland’s strategic intent to diversify our energy resources portfolio.”

Dairyland also purchases the excess energy output from a 368 kW solar generation facility owned by the City of Galena, Ill., and a number of smaller distributed generation projects. There are over 300 customer-owned solar photovoltaic facilities in the Dairyland system and that number continues to grow.

The managers of the local electric cooperatives that make up Minnesota-Three shared a joint statement about the opportunity to bring solar energy to their part of the state. “Going it alone on a project like this would not have been possible. Electric co-ops have a rich history of working together, whether it is helping to restore power following a storm or providing additional programs or services to their memberships. We couldn’t be more pleased about working together to bring renewable energy to this area of Minnesota that will benefit our members,” stated Elaine Garry, President/CEO of People’s Energy Cooperative; Brian Krambeer, President/CEO of Tri-County Electric Cooperative; and Jim Krueger, President/CEO of Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services.

With headquarters in La Crosse, Wis., Dairyland provides wholesale electricity to 25 member distribution cooperatives and 16 municipal utilities. A Touchstone Energy Cooperative, Dairyland’s service area encompasses 62 counties in four states (Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois). Dairyland’s generation resources include coal, natural gas, hydro, wind, biomass, landfill gas, animal waste and solar. For more information, please visit www.dairynet.com.

For more information, contact: Craig Harmes at (608) 787-1310 OR Deb Mirasola at (608) 787-1378 (office)

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